Fall is my favorite season of the year. The weather is mild. We have a tent pole holiday for each month to close out the year. There are multiple birthdays in the family, so there is a plethora of parties and social diversions. It’s also one of the few times of the year that I might get tipsy, perform, and then fall into my sheets with no regrets.

The autumn leaves line the streets, struggling to hold their place on the tree limbs, wafting through the air in an elegant descent of death, and providing a warming patina to the asphalt, concrete, dirt and gravel roads.

Fall is a time when summer’s offspring come to rest and winter’s cohorts are held in suspense for a bit longer. Fall is also a time for renewal of the mind and sprucing up of the spirit. The cooler air forces many inside the home and the mind. What will I do to occupy my time because it’s too damn cold to wander outside? For me, I retreat to Sudoku, logic puzzles, and rollercoaster simulation games on my computer. And just in time for the cool down, Coaster Planet will be released in November. They’ve taken Rollercoaster Tycoon to another level. Also, Netflix is another delightful fall comparison. While Netflix and Chill has its charms, I am very okay with Netflix and Deal because a brotha needs his alone and recharge time.

This fall will see me complete my 45th journey around the sun, post-utero. This 45th journey has been a harrowing one, but I’m beginning to see the value in the valley. The expanding of my heart and changing of my mind. The autumn leaves drifting by my window. Red. Gold. Blood. Knowledge becoming wisdom. Honoring the simplicity in the oppressively complex. If—life that is—is slowing down. Becoming more defined as opposed to diffuse. Getting deeper. Each drifting leaf whispering a lesson during its deathly descent.

I struggle to maintain what was, to make the past the present, and I fail every year. This is the leaves’ lament. The futile failures intended to teach and compel us forward. Everything must change, nothing stays the same.

The Sudoku grid cannot stay blank. The logic must be activated to solve the puzzle. Choices must be made because Netflix won’t play itself. But the green, thriving leaves will turn brown, red, yellow and gold. They will fall. We will all fall. Elegantly, precipitously, purposefully, eagerly. We’ll all fall.